An Illogical Decision
Posted on Sunday, 25 July 2021 - 1:07pm by Captain Barret Stillwater & Lieutenant Alex Kingsley
Location: USS Standing Bear | Deck 01 | Observation Lounge
Timeline: MD 6 - After "Dichromatic Blues"
"Captain, may I speak with you... privately?"
As the room emptied out after the briefing, Lieutenant Kingsley had taken a deep breath and turned back around. The later part was for the benefit of her husband who seemed ready to walk in at her back but upon hearing that he disappeared out of sight and the door to the observation room quietly closed.
Stillwater retook his seat and nodded as the room cleared out except for him and his Second Officer. "I will make sure your probes are returned safe and sound," the Captain said. He knew how she hated when they were destroyed.
"I've already started a candlelight vigil for them, just in case," the science officer admitted. "I also engraved four-leaf clover's on everyone but there was no space for a rabbit's foot..."
"While I worry about them, what I wanted to discuss wasn't about them. Well, indirectly, it is, I suppose. It is about Lieutenant Vali. Her request to assist in this project is illogical, I can neither understand why she asked to be actively involved or," she added studied him, "why you would permit it?"
He studied Alex for a moment. She was still learning the finesse of command. "I need the best of the best involved in this, the best we have aboard. There are risks to everyone, tenfold to Vulcanoids if things are not done properly and safely. I have to trust that you and the others will do things as safely as possible."
The Captain offered more insight. "When you take the big chair, sometimes you send people down to planets or aboard other starships, you place them in danger, and sometimes that may mean the chances of them completing a mission unscathed is not as promising as you'd like, and to be frank with you sometimes a Captain does it knowing those people are not likely to come back."
She listened, nodding, "I understand to an extent but..."
The scientist paused, trying to organise what she was trying to say. "I also don't. Sir, with no disrespect to the Lieutenant at all, if we were faced with a biohazard. You would literally have to throw me out an airlock before I would allow anyone without the proper training inside a biohazard lab. It would not only be dangerous to her, but to everyone else in the room and the wider ship.
Enhancing the probes, reinforcing them with Trellium D... this is an engineering process. We know how dangerous it is for Vulcans. I do not understand what potential gain there is in risking her health and wellbeing when we have trained engineers who are more suited to the task and less at risk. I accept that there are times when people will get hurt, they will die, but don't we also have a duty to negate that risk whenever possible? And consider why the lieutenant is even offering to volunteer? It makes no logical sense."
"T'Lanna lost her father," Stillwater said reminding Alex. "She wants more to do, wants to be more involved. She's on a command track now. She's putting herself at risk, and I could step in and stop her, but if I do that now..." he shook his head. "We have some engineering personnel but an Ensign heading the department. That doesn't look as promising."
“When I lost my father someone should have stepped in before I got that tattoo,” Alex sighed. “Aaaand maybe before we got into the Dean’s private wine cellar. But for the record, in my opinion, an ensign who knows what they are doing is better than admiral pretending to know everything.”
"This is true and I have full confidence that the Ensign can handle it especially with you overseeing matters. But I also do not want to push T'Lanna aside."
“Yes sir,” she said quietly, mulling it over and still as confused as she began. She was not exactly thrilled but he was the captain. Maybe she should start praying for Huey, Dewey, and Louie. Although she wasn’t religious so that might actually seal their fate…
Stillwater looked at her. "Soral does some asinine things from time to time as well, doesn't he?" The Captain chuckled. "Vulcans. You are always being lectured to them about logic and yet here we are albeit T'Lanna is a bit different, Soral has his moments of recklessness and arrogance."
“I’m sure he would argue his background influences that… side of his nature but yes. I’ve found them to be far more emotional than they would like us to believe. They hide behind logic the way some humans hide behind religion or, in my case, science.”
"Science, logic, religion..." Stillwater shrugged. "We all cling to something, hide behind it in times when we need justification for our actions."
“Perhaps,” she agreed. “And some behind rules and regulations.”
"Solid argument," replied Stillwater. "I appreciate you not undermining my authority and questioning my decision-making in front of the others, Lieutenant. Is there anything else that you would like to question or challenge me on before we do something wreckless?" Stillwater was having some fun at her expense at this point.
"Messing around with volatile materials is reckless?" she countered innocently. "No sir, not really. I think everyone said it already in the briefing. You will both be missed but I understand why you are going back home. And please, don't worry about that thing we discussed? About my biological parents and solving that puzzle... I'll figure it out."
"You act like these are the last days you'll see me," he replied. "I'm not completely done just yet. There are loose ends to tie up, and I won't give up on helping you with that puzzle, Lieutenant."
Her eyes widened in surprise. “You will still help me? But you are retiring, going back home…” she looked even more confused than when he said he was assigning Vali to the project.
"Retirement has its benefits," he simply replied. "Subspace communique every now and then, keep up on your 'mail,' Lieutenant. You'll be getting some from Prarie."
"I will, I promise," she replied with a bright smile. "Thank you."
He nodded and stood. "Shall we?" he said gesturing towards the doorway. "We have some reckless and illogical business to attend to." The two officers then proceeded together back to the small corridor leading to the Bridge where Commander Soral would be holding down the fort.